A Priest's Practice
am a mere nobody.
Priest of a small parish: but perhaps if I say what I do in the matter of the use of English in my priestly work, it may help on this dis
BAPTISM. I give out the small C.T.S. booklet by Fr. Martindale to all those present and as I go along in Latin, call out the number of the page. The questions, and some of the prayers. I say in English. The booklet is useful, hut Fr. Martindale is under the impression that godparents cats say the " I believe " and "Our Father" by heart : so these prayers are not printed in the booklet -a grievous omission. Nine out of ten cannot get through the " 1 believe " and half fail in the " Our Father."
°tutu meta. In English, with the mother reading the prayer at the same time in the above-mentioned booklet.
EXTREMV, UNCTION. Igo through the rite in Latin as quickly as I cut and then read it over with care and meaning in English.
PRAYERS FOR THE SICK. I always use English and only English. MI the priests' Rituals I have seen are hopeless in this respect ; pages of psalms, in Latin!!! The same applies to the prayers for a departing soul : pages of psalms and prayers in Latin. Subieclively they are no use either to the sick person or to the relatives. One could read the psalms in English, but even to people in health and strength, they sound idiotic in English. Why torture the dying with drivel? I read some of the prayers in English and make others up: like acts of Faith. Hope and Charity, Resignation, Sorrow: Invocations to Jesus. Mary and Joseph ; and these simple prayers do help the sick and dying and do comfort the relatives. I get these latter to kneel down with me and to say the prayers with me. They can do so if 1 use English, and non-Catholics are often most touched and impressed. We very much need a new practical Ritual with a full sensible translation into English and the addition of simple English prayers and invocations. I have never yet read the prayers for the sick and dying in Latin and I hope l,will never be daft enough to dream of so doing.
FUNERALS. I repeal in English, if it makes any sense, the Absolutions after the Mass. I bless the grave in English and I say the " Benerlictus " as quickly as I can in Latin, while the mourners are arriving. and then go through the rest in English and add a number of other prayers in English, some of which I have taken from the Book of Cornmon Prayer, old and revised version!! I also add the well-known invocations, " Jesus, Mary and Joseph I give ypu. etc., etc." On the way to the cemetery (we walk in these parts) I say the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. and on the way back the Glorious mysteries. If I remember : I add myself the " Dc Profundis," as the Ritual directs, in Latin. Mostly I forget this.
All other blessings like the blessing of children. of houses, etc., I say in English. If I can find no English translation, I have a shot at making my own and use that.
I Can see some of your readers throwing a few fits when they read this letter. But I don't care. I have always acted on the principle that the Sacraments are for men and not the other way rotund.
A PARISH PRIEST.